Monday, August 13, 2012

Has Romney Disqualified Himself From Running For President?

Is Romney ineligible to become the next President of the United States of America?  It's a very real possibility, especially since he threw a few fundraisers during his disastrous little overseas meet n' greet a few weeks ago.  These fundraisers were extremely private, with no journalists present (with the exception of one who did not have access to the donors), no filming or photography allowed, no diligence done, and no donor ID's checked.  If money changed hands at these rich shin-digs (which I'm sure they did, you know... being FUND RAISERS and all), Romney could be in a lot of trouble. 

But why?  Let's ask the Supreme Court and their 9-0 decision that they threw down in Bluman v. Federal Election Commission:

(a) Prohibition
It shall be unlawful for —

(1) a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make —

(A) a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election;

(B) a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party; or

(C) an expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication (within the meaning of section 434(f)(3) of this title); or

(2) a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph 

(A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.
2 U.S.C. § 441e(a).[fn2] The statute continues to define "foreign national" to include all foreign citizens except those who have been admitted as lawful permanent residents. Id. § 441e(b)

Huh.  Very interesting, Supreme Court, thank you.  
Romney, already having to evade the demands of the American people to see his tax returns, will now have to prove that he hasn't accepted foreign money to fund his campaign.  Considering no records were apparently kept, that could prove difficult.  If he has taken foreign money, then he is 100% ineligible for the Commander-in-Chief position, but very eligible for a cozy jail cell in some white-collar prison.

As Veterans Today points out:

"If you go outside the US, if you stay inside the US, if your contributor is living in the US but not a citizen, any money you get can mean years in jail.

"Romney went the whole way, personally campaigning outside the US, soliciting foreign citizens, and humiliating himself and his country with his ignorance and flagrant attempts to trade illegal cash for promises of illegal war.  One could hardly break more laws if one wanted.

"Romney has raised millions in foreign cash at fundraising event across Israel and London, those that we know of so far.  One table alone gave him a million in cash.  None was from American citizens.  Fewer than 10% of Romney’s contributors in Israel are estimated to be “dual citizens.” Others may have just flown the money in."

So what do you think?  Is Romney in trouble?  Or will he bury this just like he did his tax returns?  


Zach said...

Wrong on several counts.

First: "Romney, already having to evade the demands of the American people to see his tax returns, will now have to prove that he hasn't accepted foreign money to fund his campaign."

This shows a complete lack of understanding of the american judicial system. Guilty until proven innocent, not the other way around. Someone would have to prove he did accept foreign money, not vice versa.

Second: Read the statute. It's unlawful to make such a contribution, its not unlawful to accept such a contribution. At least not under the statute you cite.

Third: Even if it was unlawful, that wouldn't disqualify Romney from running for president. If Romney decided to renovate one of his mansions tomorrow, without the proper permits, that would be unlawful. But an unlawful act is not an automatic disqualifier in a campaign.

There are hundreds of legitimate reasons to not like Mit Romney, no need to make up false controversies. Let's talk about what we can prove he's done, like destroy jobs, pillage the poor, and cater exclusively to the 1%.

A Sane Break said...

You are absolutely right. Guilty until proven innocent. When I published this article, I immediately regretted using some of the language that I did, and regretted leaving a few things out that might distinguish my own personal opinion on the matter without distorting any facts.

I do not believe that this is an open and closed case. I am merely relaying information that I read in a different format. However, what we know is this: Mitt Romney held fundraisers in foreign countries. Since no diligence was taken, nor were ID's recorded, we do not know whether or not the contributors were American nationals or not. He easily could have accepted foreign money.

Also, the case I cited clearly says that to accept foreign money in an American campaign is a form of corruption and is, as such, a felony.

Knowing all this, Ron Paul could easily challenge Romney at the convention and become the new Republican nominee (and no, I do not like Paul).

I have to go to work - I'll add more to this later. I appreciate the feedback, though, Zach.

Doug N said...

FEC rules require information from all donors who contribute more than $200 to any campaign. So the idea of guilty until proven innocent doesn't apply, if he doesn't have that detailed information, he's violated the FEC rules and will be fined.
However, if he were to put down the names of american citizens for those donations, then it's harder to prove guilt. One would have to inspect the finances of the donors in question and that would take months.

Sara said...

Interesting stuff. (I saw this through a link to Addicting Info shared by The Other 98% on Facebook.) I passed it along on Facebook, with the caveat that I did not know much about the sources of information about Romney's fundraising activities in the piece. I hope you can write more with some more details about that. It would be nice to see some petitions going calling for the election commission to investigate this. I also hope you send links to this to some publications and some of the MSNBC political commentators or someplace. (Rachel Maddow, maybe?)

jaxx said...

intelligent, sane & civil discourse online: gentlemen, you have made my day!

BCsNext1Up said...

Well written, I would like to see this come up for discussion and disclosure. I am with you, where I was very indifferent to Romney in the beginning and was actually accepting of him as an opponent (not necessarily an option) based on what my Mormon friends reported as his accomplishments. The more we know about him, the more we are seeing examples of him being out of touch with the stipulations, guidelines and regulations that we live by and frankly pass into the grey area of decency for human relationships.

A Sane Break said...

I appreciate EVERYONE'S feedback here. This is fantastic.

@Sara: Thank you for the props, and I would like to do some follow-ups on this. Unfortunately, as I said before, I am merely relaying information that I read elsewhere, and I wouldn't want to steal there credit for a spot on Maddow. The link is in the article via "Veterans Today." I've heard a few whispers that they aren't credible, but they didn't have much room to fuck up on this particular story.

@Doug: Thank you, Doug. That was what I was trying to say in my hastily written response!

@Jaxx: No, sir, you have made MY day.

@BCs: Thank you for the compliment, and I agree with the rest completely. I was indifferent towards him myself, but the more we see from him, the less I can stand.

Anonymous said...

Now you've got your first Brazilian reader?

You have no idea, here in Brazil the party in power is celebrating because some of their corruption scandals were proved to be "only" illegal campaign funding! (the true crime was that they were using public money to by votes in the congress)

But some of the **** got convicted and maybe we will see better times here.

Nice to see some intelligent life on the web, keep up!